It is important to recognise the signs and symptoms of the terminal phase of life.
While it is not possible to describe the signs and symptoms that will occur in each individual, the following have been found to be useful indicators that the older person has only days left to live:
Page updated 04 December 2023
- Rapid day-to-day deterioration that is not reversible.
- Requiring more frequent interventions.
- Becoming semi-conscious with lapses into unconsciousness.
- Increasing loss of ability to swallow.
- Refusing or unable to take food, fluids or oral medications.
- Irreversible weight loss.
- An acute event has occurred requiring revision of treatment goals.
- Profound weakness.
- Changes in breathing patterns.